What is the Divorce Process in Anoka County?

Divorce is hard. It is generally not a pleasant time in a person’s life. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future for both parties. It is helpful to ease the stress of a divorce by understanding the process itself and what it entails.

Generally, the first step in getting your divorce process started is meeting with a divorce attorney. During that meeting your attorney will want to gather some information about your marriage and family and will likely have you complete an Intake form. If you decide to hire the attorney, he or she will ask you to gather certain records that will help the attorney to prepare your case.

The first task your attorney will accomplish is drafting the Summons and Petition for Dissolution. These documents are required to be served upon your spouse to initiate the divorce process. Once service is accomplished, your spouse will be given thirty (30) days to serve an Answer, and possibly a Counter-Petition (a document outlining what relief your spouse is requesting in the divorce).

Next, the case is filed in district court. Shortly thereafter, the parties will receive notice of what is called the Initial Case Management Conference (“ICMC”). This is essentially the first hearing that the parties will have in court. The Judge will explain the process to the parties and will determine what type of Alternative Dispute Resolution the parties will participate in. In general, there are two alternatives. The first is Early Neutral Evaluation (“ENE”) and the second is Mediation.

In a social ENE, there are two evaluators, usually one male and one female. The ENE is usually scheduled within a couple weeks of the ICMC. The parties, and their attorneys, go to meet with the evaluators. Generally, the evaluators want to hear directly from the parties and allow both spouses to speak about the contested issues, such as custody and parenting time, and explain why their position is the best. At the end of the session, the evaluators give the parties and their attorneys their opinion on how the contested issues could be resolved. If the parties do not reach an agreement at ENE, the evaluators report to the court that no agreement was reached and the matter will proceed in court.

After ENE, the matter will be set for pretrial. This is a hearing in front of the Judge assigned to your case. It is an opportunity to settle the case prior to trial. If the case cannot be settled then the Judge will set the matter for trial.

Of course a trial is the last step in the process. A very small percentage of cases actually go to trial but it is sometimes necessary. There is no right to a jury trial in a divorce case and the issues are tried to the Judge. The attorneys will submit a proposed Order after the trial and the Judge will decide the issues.

Contact Schneider, Baudler & Abbott PC

If you are facing a divorce or child custody battle or if you need legal advice on any child support matter, it is important to speak to a qualified family law attorney right away. The sooner you make the call, the quicker our lawyers can get to work on your case and the better for everyone involved, especially the children. Contact Schneider, Baudler & Abbott PC today at 763-315-1100 or by e-mail to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers.

Minneapolis Divorce Lawyer & Attorney

Schneider, Baudler & Abbott PC represent clients throughout the Minneapolis metropolitan area, including the city of Albertville, Andover, Anoka, Arden Hills, Becker, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Buffalo, Champlin, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Crystal, Dayton, East Bethel, Elk River, Fridley, Golden Valley, Ham Lake, Hopkins, Independence, Lino Lakes, Maple Grove, Medina, Melrose, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Monticello, Mound, New Hope, Norwood Young America, Oak Grove, Orono, Otsego, Plymouth, Princeton, Ramsey, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rockford, Rogers, Shorewood, Spring Lake Park, St. Francis, St. Louis Park, St. Michael, Wayzata and Zimmerman.